27 Rue des Fleurs
Daffodils. I can see them stretching out their necks, just before blooming. The Jardin du Luxembourg becomes a symphony in Spring. L’herbe, freshly cut, sunlight peaks from behind clouds, a decrescendo as a one covers le soleil, the daffodils dance to see. Soon cold metal chairs will be filled by summertime visits. For now, the birds rehearse their song. Bulbs catching soil roots. The warm up chatter before the conductor hops onto the podium. Maestro buttoning up his blazer as I peek behind the red velvet curtained stage. Tourist busses park nearby, missing the subtle springtime notes.
Thinking how it all connects. It’s 11:20 a.m. and I’ve only just noticed my iPhone – on airplane mode since midnight. Walking down Rue des Fleurs through the grand garden entrance, leaving city – entering garden. I search Spotify for Olivier Messiaen, the great French composer my enthusiastic swim teammate told me about last night “He’s more than merely religious, he is genius.” Words spoken on the metro still ring in my ears after reading the day before about this master who wrote Quatuor pour la fin du temps while a prisoner of war in Germany. Garden City a book my sister gave me for Christmas described his craft and calling, I’ve been slowly gnawing away at the pages. To think I’d listen to this symphony in Le Jardin du Luxembourg, juxtaposed with the birds and breeze. And I’m here because my friend Matt sent me a message asking to take photos at 27 Rue des Fleurs yesterday… and I knew right away it was Gertrude Stein’s home because I had just read the first chapters of Hemingway's Immovable Feast the day before. My normal route to the gardens made just a bit more magnificent, as the door was open. Camera in hand I stumbled into the courtyard with wonder, of all the artists who have also walked this path. I am convinced. I believe my life is orchestrated by God. The crescendo finale is coming soon, but for now I sit in this pianissimo space and post staccato rest and silence.